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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 4, 2014 6:00pm-8:01pm EST

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supporters? and ultimately assert his ability to command the bully pulpit? matter, therel are strong democratic candidates that are the top of the ballots in these governor races. we feel good about the chances of democratic candidates in ither being elected or being re-elected in states ike california and new york. but ultimately it's the quality of these candidates that will be the drive over their success in this election. there was ample opportunity for the president to raise money when his campaign apparatus expertise to benefit these campaigns. the president also had the opportunity to actually do some campaigning with some of these gubernatorial candidates as well. the president was looking to be supportive of these democratic
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candidates for governor but ultimately, if these governors or these candidates whose record is on -- it's the governors or the candidates whose records are on the ballot. there is ample data to indicate that the vast majority of voters across the country are making decisions based on the candidates themselves and not on, you know, on president obama. the most recent poll i have in front of me is the cnn poll from last week that indicated that 54% of those covered in the poll were not trying to send a message to president obama with their vote. of those who, i would say on top of that, 17% of voters said that they were trying to send a message to president obama in the context of the election, and that was a message of support in the election. i think that's an indication that the vast majority of voters are making a decision on election day based on the merits associated with the candidates at the top of the ballot and
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we've seen in a number of ways that the president has sought to boost the prospects of those individual candidate whether it's raising money or campaigning or lending his campaign infrastructure's expertise. >> if i could ask on another subject, foreign policy, diplomats are saying russia has informed the u.s. it will boycott the 2016 nuclear security summit. this seems to be a major setback for the president regarding the nuclear -- as the president has made guarding the knew cleefer arsenal a key aspect of his presidency. does russia's decision significantly weaken the president's hand when it comes to convincing other countries to submit themselves to international oversight? >> well, let me start by saying the united states regrets russia's decision not to participate in last week's preparatory meeting for the 2016 nuclear summit. as far as the united states is
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concerned, the door remains open to russia joining future meetings like this the nuclear security summit brings together more than 50 countries and four international stewings to take concrete action to secure nuclear material and the group that meets as part tv the nuclear summit has made significant progress over the course of the last 4 1/2 years. the personal attention of world leaders to biannual conference is a unique mechanism to spur success on this important security priority. we theep russia still shares the view that securing loose nuclear materials and combating the threat of nuclear terrorism remains a priority well worth the personal attention of world leaders. the only thing i would add to this, gentlemen is to note that president obama is the one who has been leading this effort, this idea of a nuclear security summit is something that was conceived under president obama and more than 50 countries have participated in it. so it is clear which country and
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which world leader is driving this process in a way that not only enhances the safe i have to the american people but also enhances the safety and security of people around the globe and we certainly would welcome russia making a tangible and constructive contribution to that effort. >> can you confirm that russia has given notice that they would not -- >> what i'm confirming is they declined to participate in preparatory meetings for the summit that took place last week. the door remains open to their continued participation if they were to decide to do so. >> so just to be clear, has russia informed the u.s. it will avoid future meetings and the 2016 meeting that jim referred to? >> the only thing i'm aware of is they declined to participate in last week's preparatory meeting. if they choose to participate in
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future meetings, we welcome their participation. >> the president met with his economic advisors yesterday. i was wondering if you had any readout about what they discussed, what they're looking t and when -- and what about the plunge in oil prices? >> i don't have a detailed readout of the meeting. the president has for a long to urged his top advisors understand that his top domestic priority is expanding economic opportunity for the middle class. and his team has been hard at rk on implementing ideas and policies that would do exactly that. some of these are ideas that the president can execute unilaterally through the use of executive power. in other circumstances we're talking about efforts to work with democrats and republicans on capitol hill to try to advance this priority. surely, expanding economic opportunity for middle class families is something democrats
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and republicans should be able to agree on. based on anybody who has any familiarity with the u.s. political system, i think it's safe to assume that the environment for cooperation will improve once the election has taken place. whether that leads to actual, concrete action remains to be seen. it certainly will -- the only thing i do feel safe in predicting is that the president will continue to make expanding economic opportunity for middle class families a top priority. >> how will the big drop in oil prices affect his priorities when it comes to expanding economic opportunities, working on either economic, energy, or climate issues? >> well the -- i'll say a couple of things about that. i do think to there are many families across the country that feel like they benefit from the fall at the pump, the falling prices at the pump that they see. and a lot of that is a testament
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to the kind of historic levels of production we're seeing here in this country. both in terms of oil and gas, but also as it relates to renewable fuels. the president has also put in place a fuel -- fuel standards that have significantly enhanced the fuel efficient soif cars that are on the roads in the united states today that also is saving middle class families at the pump. it also reinvigorated the u.s. auto industry in a way that has created a significant economic growth and saved or created hundreds of thousands, if not more than a million jobs. so there is a pretty strong economic benefit associated with the advancement of the domestic energy industry under this president's leadership. and as we move forward and as we continue to look for opportunities to expand economic
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growth, create jobs and expand economic opportunity for middle class family the american energy sector will continue to be an important part of that >> is today a referendum on the president? i im, i think, as the poll showed earlier indicates, it is not. the voters who we picked up -- the voters who picked up the phone to talk to people conducting a poll for cnn indicated that at least a majority of them were not trying to send a message to the president with their vote, that something else was driving their decision. >> does that show that the american people see the country moving in the wrong direction? >> hard to argue with the cnn poll. >> a really good polling unit. but you can cherry pick certain metrics but the american people do believe that the country is moving in the wrong direction. the president had six years to get the country moving in the right direction and you have a
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lot of republican candidates in some key states, states that the president won, who are running against the president. they're not running against so much the candidate on the other side of the aisle. they're running against the president. isn't that fair to say? >> again, i think you have to look at what -- i think the important thing is what is driving the voters. and the folks at cnn who do some good work on this, have unearthed some data on this. i think there will be more data in the form of closing -- exit polls. most voters, i think, are deciding who to vote for based on the name that's on the ballot, not the name that's not. and you know, that said, the president has sowlingt to support democratic candidates, particularly those who share his view that policies benefiting middle class families shown at the top of the ageneral chasm this is in stark contrast to the approach taken by a lot of
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republicans. they think that policymaking should be geared toward driving benefits to those at the top with the expectation that people lower down the totem poll pole will benefit. the president has a different view which is that our economy is best when the middle class is growing and thriving and at its most dynamic. that is the fls philosophy that the president has pursued. i think most democratic candidates across the country agree with that general philosophy. some may describe it differently but i think those visions are pretty consistent. that's why the president work sod hard to benefit democratic candidates in states across the country and some states where the president didn't do very well in the presidential election and some states where he did pretty well. and it's been up to the individual candidates, those democratic candidate, make decisions for themselves about how best the president and his support can be used to their benefit in the election.
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>> throughout campaign 2014, c-span has brought you more than 130 candidate debates in the races that will determine control of the next congress. tonight, watch to see who wins who loses and which party will control the house and senate. coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern with results and analysis. you'll also see candidate victory and concession speeches in some of the most closely watched senate races across the country. throughout the night and into the morning, we want to hear from you with your calls, facebook comments, and tweets. campaign 2014 election night coverage on c-span. >> next, mid-term elections and how the campaign battlefield shifted over the last two years, from "washington journal," this is 45 minutes. "washington jour" continues. host: joining us to continue our conversation on this election day, nathan gonzales from the rothenberg political report.
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let's start with the senate. what do you expect to happen tonight as far as staying in democratic hands are not? guest: we believe republicans will gain between 5-8 seats. we have been there for a few months. when you narrow that range even further, republicans will gain between 6-8 seats. the precise path of what states and if we have to go to january or not is still in play, still up in the air. i think republicans will get them when the dust settles. host: tell us what is happening is for his numbers -- as far as numbers. guest: what you just talked early warning signs on the east coast, if republicans are doing better than expected in new hampshire
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and scott brown wins, the race against jeanne shaheen in new hampshire, shaheen is coming into election day with a point or two advantage. the republicans have won control. we talking about a 9-10 to gain. in north carolina, another key race between kay hagan coming into election day with maybe a point advantage over thom tillis. if republicans and appointing that race, i think they are in control. georgia again, the expectation georgia is going to go to a january runoff because there is a libertarian candidate. david purdue or michelle nunn from winning that majority. if they can hold their own seat, the seats they gain off the democratic side are just a gain of seats. using those three states
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as an example, what is your polling and analysis suggesting as far as how these races have tightened? we don't connect our own polling, but we digest as much polling as possible. there are a remarkable number of close races. colorado, iowa, north carolina and georgia. kansas being a tight race. that is why there is a much uncertainty. if kansas and the kansas race -- greg orman talking about the size of the republican majority. it would not be a doubt at all. pause at one of the key factors we have to looking at for most of election cycle is the democratic get out the vote operation. how much that will matter in
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these races. factor in that republicans are confident in their get out the vote operations. particularly in a state like colorado. the closeness and the get out throws a dynamic into this that we could be uncertain for a wild tonight. host: if you have questions about tonight's race, give us a call and you can ask mr. gonzales. has this senate race -- is this senate race about issues or president obama? his job approval rating is casting a shadow over these races. it is fortunate for republicans that the class of senators at
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2008, nowelected in that they're up in 2014, you red stateber of democratic senators running for reelection in hostile territory. the president's job approval rating is about 41-42% nationally. you could knock 5-10 points out .hat job approval rating in key states such as alaska, kentucky, arkansas, louisiana where incumbents are trying to survive, they have been trying to find that line between distancing themselves from looking atbama and their personal connection to their states. it has i don't think worked enough in the ski races for them to hold on. host: their opponents would then try to find lines to president obama? caller: one of the typical
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campaign ads is mark pryor voted with president obama 90% of the time. that is something we see in a number of races. republicans have also done a better job of localizing some of these races. hagan'to hold it senator to the fire on committee hearing meetings. salient points republicans use are the number of veterans affairs committee meetings he messed at a time when the v.a. was undergoing all sorts of negative headlines. this is not just a national quickie race. republicans have made some adjustments from last cycle. it has worked pretty effectively. host: there is a headline in the "washington post" talking about turnout. talk about that as a factor tonight.
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is another factor that plays into the republicans favor. not just those states i talked about, but also midterm electorates in general are for republicans. younger voters and minority voters. another way the republicans have the advantage. democrats are trying to change that equation from a typical midterm. they are focusing their get out the vote operation on minority turnout. whether it's african-american voters in little rock or inspanic voters an colorado. they are try to change that dynamic. it's a difficult thing to do and very difficult to make a big difference in the race. puts aterm electorate pinky on the scale for the republicans in key races. host: nathan gonzales from the
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rothenberg political report joining us to talk about election day. you may have questions for him. the lights are on our screen. julia in dayton, ohio. democrats line. caller: good morning. thank you so much for taking my call. i am a political junkie. i have watched a lot of news. i try to stay informed. a seems to me the country has bad case of all timers -- alzheimer's. it has not been democrats or president obama that has been holding this country back. declareseen republicans their not going to do anything for the president to get anything through. they stopped the government with a shutdown down the cost this country millions of dollars. they did not impact anything that was going on in the immigration atof
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the border or for the interest in ukraine in iraq. iraq.aine and with that irresponsible level of leadership, i don't understand how anybody can go to the polls and vote republican. the only thing they have gotten moved this country forward has been democrats and president obama with the republicans trying their darndest to hold everything back. guest: julia brought up one of the chief frustrations the democrats have with republicans. the challenge for the democratic , aty is that president obama majority of the country disapproves of the job president obama is doing. when you have republicans running around the country saying we are going to stop what president obama is doing, people think that might be a good idea because i don't agree with the
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direction he is taking the country. it is going to be up to republicans in the next congress to put forth some positive legislative agenda. i don't know how much more mileage they are going to get out of the opposition to obama message. it is very effective right now in these key states at a time when voters don't approve of and are disaffected site -- and are dissatisfied. host: joe in maryland on our republican line. to call as at want citizen of the united states. i don't know if you've ever considered the fact that we are all in this together. i have never seen such they always seem
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to put it on the current president. that is not fair. we are here to work together. how do you sleep at night and tell constituents that you operate with a pure heart? we are a country of voters and people who make this thing work. you are all deliberately working against the president. you think god is going to bless the country because you have lied and perpetuated the harm that is already done? if you are a citizen of the united states and of the world -- host: mr. gonzales? guest: i think joe brings up a couple of points. the president of the united states, even though we have
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three branches of government, the president of the united states is viewed as the head of the government and the head of the country. when things are going well, the president gets a disproportionate amount of credit for what's going on. when things are going poorly, he gets a disproportionate amount of blame. that is where we are right now. there are some things he has more control over than others. and thehis credibility optimism he had early in this administration has faded away, ands being saddled with blamed for things that are not under his control. that goes with the territory. it might feel like everyone is piling on president obama. it is a republican versus democratic thing. back during the bush administration, president bush was getting blamed for everything.
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people were getting parking tickets and saying bush is keeping me down again. that is cyclical and that goes back and forth. in "theere is a piece washington post." 's agendadent obama faltered. it was the executive action that put senator mark udall on the defensive with the key constituency in a state whose population is 28% hispanic . is there any take away from that decision or other decisions the president has made? guest: while the executive action before now might have or mightnator udall have had a negative impact on senators running in states that are less democratic, arkansas, alaska, louisiana, they might
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not have been in the game at all if there was backlash against executive action. the white house has said they would potentially do an exact of action after the election. election, but it is unclear whether that means after the elections today, if it means after the louisiana runoff in december, maybe after a georgia runoff. there is still the potential that that action has an impact on these midterm elections. i think one of the major legislative agenda items that parttill -- that is still of the conversation is the affordable care act. republicans have used it in ads. the nrc see, the national republican campaign committee, ads havet of their been about the affordable care act. how the president handled it in the first year and a half of his administration, kind of playing a hands-off approach, it got very partisan and political,
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that set the tone for a lot of his legislative -- domestic legislative agenda for the rest of his term. line.independent richard from warren, ohio. hi. > caller: why don't we have any libertarians on the ballot? guest: there are libertarians on the ballot. races, thekey georgia race, there is a libertarian on the ballot, amanda swafford. there are third party candidates, but it is difficult for them to raise the money necessary, to raise their name identification, raise their awareness and kind of get their profile and their message out. that is a structural problem that third party candidates generally have because it is easier for the republicans and the democrats. they had voter lists and donor
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lists that have been cultivated over decades that they can go to , and libertarian or green party , working family, all these parties have their lists, their followers, but it is not up to the same size as the two major parties. host: nathan gonzales, talk about the rise of greg norman. -- of greg orman. he had run briefly as a democrat in the past, has given to president obama in the past, has also given to scott brown in the past. fascinating dynamic. democrats got their own nominee to drop out of the race, so greg orman is getting independent voters and republican voters who are the satisfied with pat roberts. they may not like that he has not spend a lot of time that she has not spent a lot of time in
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kansas. it looks like it could be a perfect storm for an independent candidate to win. one of the advantages he has is that he is independently wealthy. he has not suffered from the structural fundraising deficit i was talking about. he can write a check and has been able to boost his campaign on his own. if he did not have that ability, i am not sure he would be in the same position he is right now. what about when he says things like, "i am going to caucus with whatever party wins"? also: i believe he has told chuck todd of nbc that he has said he would not caucus --h a party that has either the senate majority hinges on it. it is also a long-term decision
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because if republicans win the majority, he caucuses with them. i think that he would be in grave danger of losing reelection the next time around because i do not think he can get out of a primary based on his profile and based on his background in some democratic politics. it is a big decision that goes beyond 2015. it has ramifications for his reelection. this is portland park, illinois. democrats line. hi. caller: if the democrats lose the senate, what are their chances of regaining it in 2016? guest: that is a great question. the map that we have been talking about -- democratic senators running in red states this cycle, it is almost the reverse in 2016. of6 is a glass -- is a class 2010, a great republican year.
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so you have seven republican senators running for reelection in obama states. pennsylvania,y of rob portman of ohio, kelly a yotte of new hampshire, ron johnson of wisconsin -- republicans are going to immediately be on the defensive in the senate the next cycle, and if they only win the senate by aceto two, it is not difficult -- by a seat or two, it is not difficult to see the democrats getting back to the majority two years later. mark from north carolina, republican line. caller: i think anybody who wants to take a look at what is happening, congress should have to look at the dysfunctional senate. there has been legislation ,assed by the house republicans over 500 pieces of legislation, as i understand it, that was sent over to the senate.
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the senate's responsibility as far as the constitution is concerned, is to be a deliberative debating body. harry reid does not allow debate. he does not allow any sort of discourse to move forward. if people want obstructionism, that is what we have got. where want something something could land on the president's desk where there is a public debate about things, it would be much better. the problem with obamacare is debates, when both houses were controlled by the democrats, it was ludicrous. when nancy pelosi says, "we will have to find out what is in it when we pass it," frankly, a doctor was quoted as saying that the only thing he could relate that to was a stool sample. that is one of the main reasons why republicans want to get the senate because then the legislation passed by the house can move forward in the senate.
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the question will be if republicans control both if thes of congress -- republicans can agree with each other on what legislation can be passed, can they get it through both chambers and get into the president's desk? that is a big question mark still. they will not have a majority leader, harry reid, to blame anymore. right now he is kind of the bogeyman, saying we cannot get anything done because he is blocking. if mitch mcconnell is the majority leader, that excuse evaporates and republicans will have to deal with a new reality. has note president appeared with kay hagan specifically but got a radio ad cut for her. what does that mean to you? is that a good thing or a bad thing? what do you think? guest: we will see if it ends up being a net positive or not.
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it is a calculated decision by the campaign that the president can do some good, maybe boost democratic base turnout. there are probably not a lot of persuadable voters. it might even be $100 million when you add the outside spending. people have probably made up their minds. it is about going out and getting base democratic voters, and that is one area where the president could make a difference. it is also calculated that there is a potential for backlash, because the president could energize republicans and getting out the vote to get someone else in washington in that senate seat that is a republican. host: sebring, florida. good morning, laura, on our independent line. caller: i just wanted to make a point. i am independent. i do not vote for a democrat or republican. i vote for the man, the person, because i watch c-span a lot.
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notice that the republicans, 22 republican senators voted against the violence against women act. i was appalled by that. that made me sick to my stomach. then they shut down the government and screamed because nobody was guarding the monuments. but not one of them would stop their pay. they said, oh, no, we need our pay. what my question is -- you have to be a lobbyist or a big bank or anything else that has money to get anywhere in this country with the senators. before you go, tell us your thoughts on the governor's race there? who do you plan to support? caller: charlie crist. because -- i mean, why would they vote for scott gecko he ripped off -- why would they vote for scott? he ripped off medicare.
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then they turn around and vote for him. are you people ridiculous? there are people who retire in florida. they have already made their money. they are retired, they have made their money. but my husband works. for ass what, your vote billionaire is not cutting it for us. we need our obamacare. host: mr. gonzales, go ahead. laura brings up a frustration a lot of people have. that is one of the reason congressional job approval is low. that the system is rigged toward -- against the average person. there is a disconnect between what members are doing in washington, that it does not line up with what people should be doing. is a message democrats are using against republicans. one of the key things in nebraska's second district, with republican lee terry, he made a
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comment during the government shutdown that there was no way he was going to give up his paycheck because he had a house, a mortgage. there is a disconnect there. that is one of the frustrations playing out in this election, that president obama and that job approval rating is also a factor. that is making it difficult for democratic candidates. host: how do you view what is going to happen in the florida governor's race? it as ae have had tossup for virtually the entire cycle. both men are unpopular. more people disapprove of governor rick scott than approve of the job he is doing. charlie crist, republican turned independent, turned democrat, his unfavorable ratings are higher than his favorable ratings. it has been locked in the low 40's for most of the election. there is a third-party candidate, and i think it will good -- i think it will go down
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to the wire. what do you think is going to happen in these 36 races when it comes to republican and democratic favoring's? are there any that you are closely watching? is an extraordinary number of close gubernatorial elections. it could swing anywhere from up to 10 governor's losing reelection or maybe just one governor losing reelection. open,hough the polls are about the only governor that is sure to lose reelection is pennsylvania's governor tom corbett, which will bring -- which will break a string of lieutenant governor's becoming governors going back to world war ii. democrat could win the gubernatorial election in kansas, where senator brownback might lose to paul davis. you also will have republicans winning in massachusetts, where
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charlie baker is favored against martha coakley. connecticut -- tom foley against malloy. we could spend a whole hour on this. number that are extraordinarily close, and we will have to see how they break tonight. from montrose, virginia, democrats line. caller: good morning. there is so much to talk about. my main thing is the political pundits that sit around on tv and badmouth the president, and then they have the radio talkshow hosts like rush limbaugh, mark live-in -- mark levine, that man savage. they still hate him, and they make profits. if you look at everything bad that ever happened to this
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country, it happened on the republicans' watch. think about it -- everything. assassinations. make aublicans try to big deal out of the four people that got killed in benghazi. -- 4000 people got killed right here in the united states. it is ridiculous. you have to be mentally challenged to vote republican. host: mr. gonzales, any take away from that? guest: i think partisanship in the media is a key point. it can be easy to blame the partisan media -- obviously not c-span -- but i think it is a vicious cycle. many voters say they do not want biased media, they do not like the fox news bias, they do not like the msnbc bias. those channels are using their
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businesses, and the reason why they have been as successful as they are is that people are watching. people are voting with their eyeballs. even though people say they want independent media, and there is a loyal c-span viewership, there are also viewers going to these other outlets, and i think those outlets are giving some people what they want. it feeds on itself, and i am not sure that it is healthy. the political report shows certain races and how you view them. , the rothenberg political report. and northou kansas carolina and goes on from there. things have not changed drastically since november 1 when it comes to those races. the last one we changed on november 1 was the kentucky race. we have never had it as a tossup
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even though some of the polls had it very close for many months. we had it from lean republican backed republican favored. i think senator mcconnell is going to win. it looks like the known universe of races has been static for a while, and now we have to let the voters vote. do you think about the race that alison lundergan grimes ran? think she has gotten a lot of criticism in the last couple of weeks. during an editorial board , she was asked if she voted for president obama to achieve did not answer. her lookt make particularly good. it is on video. i think when we look back, that will probably get more of a disproportionate amount of attention than it deserved. structurally, she has difficulty running as a democrat in a federal election in a red state.
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mitch mcconnell's polling numbers have never been good. he is not popular in kentucky, so she had an opportunity, but she was still a democrat and republicans did an effective job of making it a partisan race. if the race was just a referendum on senator mcconnell -- do you like him or not, do you think he is doing a good job or not -- i think he would have lost that race. but they made it into a republican versus democrat race, presidentlican versus obama race. host: republican line, from virginia. good morning. caller: good morning. i am excited about going against obama -- going and voting against obama and his policies today. this man is an imbecile. how many people are not working in the workforce? there are no jobs. i am fortunate enough to have a job right now. stage, i recently
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saw where obama is threatening a counterattack against the republicans. really tough to people in the united states, doesn't he? if we had a ronald reagan in office or a bush, the ukraine would not be threatening, the middle east would not be in meltdown. this guy is a raving idiot. joseph, are you going to be supporting -- in the senate race? caller: of course. we are one to two days away from browning out. if i could get my hands on that man, i would rip his -- host: what are your thoughts? guest: i think joseph feels pretty passionate. race, we do not consider the virginia senate race to be even in the second
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tier. i think it would be a third tier opportunity for republicans, gillespie against mark warner. mark warner is proliferating -- he has been consistently high. he is running an impressive campaign. he has had john warner in television ads. he has been having john warner foster a bipartisan appeal that john warner has had since -- that mark warner has had since he was governor. if we talk about races like virginia being extremely close like minnesota or oregon, is a huge republican base. i think even though republicans have a good night, we will not creep into that tier of states. host: washington, d.c., here's anthony on the independent line. caller: good morning, pedro. one of the problems we have in this country is we have low information voters and we have people who have no sense of history. i am sure you remember, mr.
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gonzales, one of the last times held votes, what the house and the senate were doing in the last four years of the bush administration -- we with thisoblems economy going down the rabbit hole. both of those were forced toward the republicans. holding both sides of congress. host: thank you, anthony. mr. gonzales? -- if ine republicans the republicans get the senate this time, they will have to figure out where they are going to spend their time and attention. there will be a temptation for theblicans to try to repeal affordable care act. there will be the presentation to try to have more and more
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hearings on benghazi or other issues that they feel the administration has gone off the rails. so there is going to be that temptation, that cold, but they will have -- that pull. but i think the american people are going to start to wonder, what are they for? that will be an important message going into the 2016 presidential election, because if republicans just look like they are obstructionists, that is going to be very easy for the democratic presidential nominee the republicans, they are obstructing, obstructing. if you want to get something done, elect me, elect democrats for the house and senate. it will be a fascinating dynamic to watch next year. spent virtually all of our time talking about the senate. we have not talked about the house races. of the houseion stands, how much does that change after tonight? guest: republicans will gain
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seats and the house. we are just not quite sure how many. we believe republicans will gain between five and 12 house seats. it could exceed that if it ends up being a better night than we expect, but i do not think -- i think the dynamic is going to be similar. that dynamic is, there is a portion of the republican caucus -- antiestablishment or you can call it a tea party caucus if you want -- that will be a thorn in john boehner's side. they are the ones who do kind of want to obstruct. they call themselves constitutional conservatives, and they make it difficult to pass legislation that really has any sort of moderate or compromise tint to it. that dynamic is something this bigger will have to deal with, even though some of that crowd is not running for reelection or lost in senate primaries this cycle. there are going to be some characters that i think will
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take their place, and speaker boehner will have a difficult job once again for the next couple of years. host: characters like who? when you look at who could be the thorn in speaker john boehner's side, you could look at some new republican members like jody hice of georgia. i kind ofthat hesitated -- how many tea party members are coming into congress? i think it is difficult because the definition of tea party has become alert. .t it -- has become blurred it is one of the catchall for a lot of things. once members get here, sometimes they change. sometimes their outlooks change. sometimes they have expectations and then their outlook changes as they see how things work. elmer's of north carolina was elected in 2010, there was the expectation she would be one
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of these tea party republicans. as she has gotten to washington, she has figured out how things sheate, and i do not think has been that thorn in the side that many people expected her to be. gonzales of the rothenberg political report. mr. gonzales, good morning to you. here in north carolina, we had early voting, which was cut back seven days. here in north carolina, after last saturday, the tabulation came up that there were more democrats voting in the earlier voting than there was republicans. early voting exceeded the numbers of the 2010 election. so i do not think it will be that big of a knocked down here. thom tillis will not win in south carolina. pollution also an anti-
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from duke energy that has polluted all these waterways down here. so move the draconian legislation that thom tillis has led as the speaker down here, there are a lot of things. people are coming in droves, black and white. events, and there were more white people there than there were black people. bigtelling you, it is a turnover against thom tillis. i am sorry i cut you off too early. mr. gonzales? on onei will focus thing. early voting -- i think the media has done a better job of kind of taking in early vote totals from all different states to try to figure out what that means for this election.
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the key question we do not know about early voting, and he talked about how democrats are winning in early voting in north carolina -- we do not know whether democrats are changing the makeup of the electorate this cycle or if they are simply doing a better job of getting people who would have voted on election day, getting them to vote early. that is just what we are going to have to wait and figure out to get the final results. host: nathan gonzales is joining us. id from washington, good morning. our republican line. caller: i wanted to quickly digress and say that i wash -- i watch the show every morning. what is the percentage of people or do not use lights slavery? or never hear asians
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hispanic go down that road. i watch the show every day, and it is like a freak show, that so many blacks have to engine race through that. -- have to mention race through that. i really wish that a politician would be held, have his feet to the fire and define what is radical? what is radical? when all the republicans want to get it in balance, that is radical. 70% of the media in this country , they even pole left. they cast republicans as radicals, and i am sick of hearing so many people call of and be disingenuous about that. guess, like to ask your -- i would like to ask your guests, what is radical about the republican agenda? i am 99 percent sure that radical was not an adjective
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that i used. but there are republican members that, in order to achieve the goals that the caller was talking about, are willing to block everything else. i think that is the tension we are seeing. that is part of the tension we were seeing last year during the government shutdown, that there were republicans who feel like -- they feel like the debt and deficit are moral issues, but they were willing to take it to a new level by blocking other things in order to make their point. they have the right. they were elected to do what they think is right, but there can also be political ramifications for making that decision. areur standpoint, where we as handicappers and analysts, we are not making judgments on specific ideologies and who is right or wrong, but there is political fallout from some of those ideologies, and that is what we are taking under consideration. host: the last call of this
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segment will be from georgia, independent line. caller: i wanted to address on the answer that mr. gonzales earlierlier to a caller about libertarians on the ballot. the united states is unique in that it is a federal election, but all the states control the election process. there are ballot access laws. each one of these states created by the legislatures in those states that are controlled by republicans and democrats, they make it very difficult for libertarians or green party or anybody else to get on the ballot. another reason, the tea party has taken some of the wind out of the libertarians' sales like ron paul or ted cruz or others -- i do not consider him a libertarian by any stretch. with thecomfortable libertarian party.
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i think there is a racial component that bothers me. races brought up at every juncture regarding this president. i think the caller -- i mentioned the fundraising component. ballot access is absolutely another challenge for third-party candidates. that was one of the interesting things, in the 2012 presidential election, it was not specifically libertarian, but there was an organization called american elect. the process then kind of fell apart, with who they would nominate or put forward. they wanted a forced bipartisan ticket between a democrat and a republican, and things fell apart. ballot access, you have republican and democratic lawmakers making the laws and being in those decision-making
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roles, and there is not the incentive to help third-party candidates get that access. gonzales, will we know by tonight about the condition of the senate? guest: that is a great question. the easy answer, and the answer i have been giving for a number of weeks is no, that this is going to go to january with the georgia runoff. there will be a runoff in december in louisiana. but the way with the momentum, the way things are, there is a chance that late tonight, more like early tomorrow morning, we could have an indication of where the senate is headed. that being said, louisiana will still go to a runoff. the question is whether louisiana ends up being the deciding seat or not. host: that depends on louisiana being a key component. guest: if republicans can sweep most of the other competitive
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states, hold down their losses, and if pat roberts can squeak by in kansas, which is a big .uestion mark we have to remember that paul closing times -- we have to remember that poll closing times -- there is a difference between a closing time and how quickly the votes get tabulated. it can be hours after the polls close in some states, that we have a better idea of what is happening in that state. my advice is to go out and have a nice dinner and then you can settle in for a long night. host: anthony gonzalez with the rothenberg political report, their deputy editor. he is talki has brought to more than 130 debates from across the country in races that will determine control of congress
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and tonight watch live election night coverage to see who wins, who loses, and which party will control the house and senate. p.m.age begins at 8:00 eastern. you will also see speeches and some of the most closely watched races. from you withr your calls, facebook comments, and tweets. campaign night coverage on c-span. and a three-hour show on election analysis from all of the key house, senate, and governors races. we will take your phone calls, comments, and tweets. "washington journal" at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. yesterday, the international foundation for el toro systems held atoral systems
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forum. we will hear the pros and cons of requiring id in u.s. elections. this is one hour. >> well, good morning. good morning, everyone, and welcome to the voter id panel. it is nice to see so many familiar faces in the audience from across the world to end in a number of places that we work. as i was preparing for this panel, i was thinking about the countries where i worked previously. single country, there has been some sort of an id requirement in order for people to vote. in some cases, we've seen justries where it may have
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been a voter id required. in some place is, we have seen three or four state issued id's and when i was in kosovo, they had 64 combinations of id cards in order to be qualified to cast your ballot on election day. so there is a so there's a broad range of solutions when it comes to the voter i.d. challenge. i think the debate that's currently ongoing here in the u.s. is very relevant to working in the international field. we have basically some arguing that a new, tighter voter i.d. law has led to voter suppression or marginalized people and we have others arguing that voter fraud is a reality in the u.s. system and therefore by having more stringent i.d. requirements we can curtail and contain the problem with the voter i.d.
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so in order to answer some of these questions, we have two eminent scholars with us and practitioners here with us today. to my far right, we have professor justin levitt. he's an expert in election law with a scholarship cited by the u.s. supreme court. he has testified before committees of the u.s. senate, the u.s. civil rights commission, state legislative bodies and federal and state courts. he also presented before the mexican electoral tribunal. and he has served on several campaigns including the 2008 national voter protection council. and to my immediate right we have mr. hans von spakovsky. he's the manager of the election law reform initiative at the heritage foundation. he's an authority on a wide range of issues, including civic
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rights, civil justice, the first amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform. and as the manager of the think tank's election law reform initiative, he has studied and written on campaign finance restrictions, administration of elections, voter fraud and of course voter i.d. and he's very well represented on a number of the tv and radio outlets, including a prolific author of a number of commentaries in the nationwide media. so thank you very much for accepting to be a part of this panel. the setup we're having here today in order to maximize the amount of exchange between the audience and the panelists, i've asked them kindly to restrict themselves to 10, maximum 15
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minutes of introductory remarks stating their case and where they think the issues are when it comes to voter i.d. in the u.s. and then we will open up for questions and answers. so, with these few words, i'm handing over to mr. von spakovsky as agreed between the panelists that he would start first. the floor is yours. >> thank you very much. and welcome to the united states. we're glad to have you here. you got an introduce of me as a lawyer and a write br these topics but i want to you understand also that i come at this from a practical standpoint. because i actually have been an election administrator down at the local level. i was on a county registration and election board in the state of georgia where we were responsible for voter registration and running the polls on election day in the largest county in the state. i recently left another county electoral board in the state of virginia, fairfax county, where
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i think many of you may be going to observe tomorrow. and fairfax county also is the largest county in the state of virginia. so i have a lot of practical experience in what it's like to register individuals to vote and running a polling place on election day and then counting the votes at the end of the day once all the ballots have been cast. now, you may be a little confused by this whole debate about voter i.d. we are one of the only western democracies that does not uniformly require a photo i.d. when you go vote. now, part that have is because of the fact that we have, as i'm sure you've been briefed, a very decentralized election system. there is no federal agency at the national level that runs elections in this country, including federal elections.
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which we are about to have tomorrow. those were all run down at the local level, usually by county governments, in some states even by townships, town governments. currently we have about 31 states out of 50 that require some form of i.d. when you vote. about half of those states require a photo i.d. now, in every state that requires a photo i.d., the law has also been tasked to provide a photo i.d. to anyone that doesn't already have one. opponents of this will say, well, there's no voter fraud in the united states and therefore we really don't need this kind of an honor system. well, two years ago i published a book with my co-author that which we go through case after case after case of voter fraud. in the last months we've had individuals indicted for voter fraud in this country in
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mississippi, where the fraud actually changed the results of a mayor's race, in connecticut where a state legislator was indicted on 19 counts of voter fraud, we had a case just recently in tennessee where a woman was indicted for buying votes, which of course is illegal in this country. and just yesterday the associated press reported on a man in the state of new mexico who showed up to vote and was told that he had already voted. someone had shown up three days prior and had cast a ballot in his name. now, when they went back and checked, according to the story, the signature of the prior voter did not match the signature on file with the government. new mexico is one of the states
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that does not have an i.d. requirement. the u.s. supreme court, which as you know is the highest court in the united states, upheld requiring a photo i.d. in 2008. six years ago. and the justices said, when they upheld that opinion, that unfortunately the u.s. has a long history of voter fraud that's been documented by historians and journalists. opponents will say to you that it's something that is unneeded and that also it is intended to suppress the vote of certain voters, particularly minority voters. two of the states with the strictest photo i.d. laws, these require a state-issued photo i.d. laws. turnout did not go down in those states.
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in fact, georgia, which has a large african-american black population that's about 30%, had a huge increase in the turnout of black and hispanic voters in 2008. also in 2010 when barack obama was not on the ballot. and in 2012, our last presidential election. the census bureau do a survey -- does a survey of voters after every election.
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their census shows that black voters actually voted at a higher rate in the state of georgia with its voter i.d. in place. indiana which has a photo i.d. law that's been in place since 2008, that's the law that the supreme court upheld. according to the census bureau in the 2012 election, black voters outvoted white voters by more than 10 percentage point. so this idea that this is suppressing people's right no vote is simply not the case and the data shows that. in fact, i think president obama
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actually agrees with that. he gave an interview about a week ago in which he said, talk about voter i.d. and other laws that most of these laws are not preventing the overwhelming majority of folks who don't vote from voting. most people do have a drive's license. most people can get to the polls. in fact, president obama said that the reason people don't vote in the country is basically apathy. that's what prevents people from getting out and voting. it's not these laws. now, the american people actually agree with that. there have been numerous polls done on this particular issue. and the overwhelming majority of americans think that requiring an i.d. is a common sense requirement. and that polling by the way crosses all racial, ethnic and party lines. so a majority of democrats, a majority of republicans, a majority of independent voters, a majority of whites, a majority of hispanics, a majority of
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blacks think voting is a common sense reform. that's what we're here to talk about today. one of the problems that we have discovered in which a number of states are trying to solve that problem is the fact that it's very easy for someone who is not a united states citizen to register and vote in our elections. now, that is against the law. so a number of states, however, who have found noncitizens registering in voting have passed laws. kansas is one. arizona is another. georgia is a third. they have passed laws that require that when you register to vote, you have to find proof of united states citizenship. all of these laws have been attacked in the court.
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however, the opposition has lost the majority of those cases. with only a few exceptions, all of the cases filed in state court, all of the cases filed in federal court try to stop, for example, voter i.d. laws have failed. and the reason is, the courts have found that they are neither discriminatory nor unconstitutional. the proof of citizenship requirement, the importance of that -- the importance of that was brought out just a week ago. a week ago several professors released a study where they looked at comprehensive congressional survey data and they estimate that in the 2008 election 6.4% of noncitizens in the united states voted illegally in that election. now, from a demographic standpoint the voting of
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noncitizens breaks down 80-20. in other words, about 80% vote for the democratic party. about 20% vote for the republican party. the professors in this study estimate that noncitizens voting illegally may have made the difference in a number of close elections in 2008. one of them being a united states senate race in the state of minnesota. in minnesota the democratic challenger was finally declared the winner against the republican incumbent by 312 votes out of 2.9 million votes cast in the state. enough noncitizens may have voted in that election to have changed the outcome. was that significant? that was a very significant vote. why? because that democratic senator who was elected provided the 60th vote in the united states senate which passed obamacare,
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you know, the large health program pushed by the president and it's been very controversial. so the fraud in that election may have made quite a difference for every american in the country. the point is is that all of these new relatively new requirements although some of them have been around for many years, all are intended to increase and improve the integrity of the election process. and the evidence all shows that it does not prevent people from being able to vote and getting to the polls. this is an important issue, but again, i will end by saying that i've spoken to many groups of election officials from around the world.
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i was on the federal election commission for two years which is the federal agency that regulates the financing of federal campaigns and frankly they were always a bit -- the foreign officials that we would talk to were always a bit mystified by the argument being -- going on here over these kind of very common sense election reforms and i think 10 years from now, once these measures have been in place for many years, people will look back on these arguments and sit there and say, why in the world was there even any argument about this kind of a reform. thank you. >> thank you very much for your comments and your information you shared. >> thank you very much, stephane. and i will join my colleague in thanking all of you for being
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here. it is a pleasure to be speaking to people from around the world and in particular talking about trying to demystify this issue that has become so controversial because i completely agree with my colleague, many of you are probably wondering what the fight is about. and part of that traces back to a very different system that we have here and that which you enjoy in some of the countries where you're from. like my colleague, i have both studied the issue of particular election administration requirements and also this isn't just an academic exercise, i've also been a lawyer on the ground working with nonprofit organizations, working with campaigns in order to help real eligible people to vote. so i too come at this from a very practical perspective. and i think i share with my colleague a little bit of concern that this issue has
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become extremely controversial. as you heard in the mornings program, it is one of the most controversial issues in american politics today in terms of the rules of the election. when there are other problems that, in fact, may impact far more voters, the way that the american system conducts and to call it the american system is already oversimplifying, the way that each state conducts its own different voter registration process almost certainly impacts more voters, more regularly than the particular rules about photo identification. i think there are several reasons why this issue has become so very, very controversial here. one has to do with a fight, a vigorous fight over the extent to which majorities may set
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election rules that burden some minorities. when it comes to and i'll explain this in a bit. when it comes to requirements to show particular forms of identification at the polls, cervan is absolutely right, most americans have no problem presenting that documentation. and so it is unsurprising that most americans support rules showing documentation. on the other hand, some americans have a great deal of difficulty showing that documentation and the fight here is over the extent to which most of us can make the rules harder for some of us. and that is a fight that resonates with our history and i think has a great deal of vigor behind it today. this is also something of attention between viewing voting as a mass process or viewing voting as an individual right. there are two sides with the same coin. elections involve both. that can create a different
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controversy to whether we are doing elections or most of us are doing elections for each eligible voter. and i think the third reason this is so controversial is because it's a fight in some ways a proxy fight for the extent to which burdens on some are either justified or unjustified by pressing need. that is an extent to which we are willing to allow the government to make rules where the justification may not support the restrictions at hand and i think those who disagree with some of the rules that some of our states have put in place question the justification as much as anything else. so as a background, you heard yesterday from the sad home, not every person is eligible to vote. this varies state by state even
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by federal election and that is something that is also unusual. but in most states you have to be over 18 years old. you have to be as he mentioned in most elections a citizen. you have to have legal residents in the jurisdiction, and you have to not be disenfranchised by a conviction. and you heard yesterday some of the limitations on that. and buzz of this eligible requirement, it's important that we know that individuals who present themselves to vote are who they say they are because we have determined whether they're eligible or not and it's important that we know that they are who they por port to be. and think there is wide, if not universal agreement that states have to have some way to make sure that voters are who they say they are.
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the controversy in the us is not whether states have to have some way to make sure that voters say who they say they are. that is the controversy is not over a fight between everybody has to show one particular identification card or no safeguard at all. the fight is over the means by which states can require that people show that they are who they say they are. and that is a vigorous fight, indeed. as he mentioned, every state sets its own rules on this differently. there is no overriding federal standard even for federal elections. most states give a fairly wide menu of ways in which a voter may arrive at the polls and show that he or she is who he or she
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por ports to be. but some say that an eligible voter may not cast a valid ballot if he or she does not have a particular a type of government issued i.d. card. and those relatively few states is where the bulk of the controversy is is where almost all of the controversy is. why do we have this controversy? i think as i mentioned before, it's because this restriction is put in place by why some believe is not a sufficiently good reason. if the procedure for proven identity were very easy for every voter, this wouldn't be a controversy. and if the procedure for proving identity were easy for most voters, difficult for some voters, but were in response to an enormously pressing problem, that is if the need were urgent
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and sufficiently severe to burden the rights of a few, we probably would have a controversy but nowhere near the level where it's at today. i think the controversy arises because the procedure is easy for most, hard for some and at least there's a perception that that burden is not sufficiently justified by a pressing need. and that characterizes not just fights over i.d. but i think the reason that this battle has been pitched is because of a concern of that sort of regulation. once it imposed burdens on a few on the elect system. as we heard today and yesterday part of the reason that's a concern is because our system has the -- not unique but also
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not common feature where those who are -- who stand for election make the rules for elections and so there's a concern that they will be making the rules an imposing burdens, not by happen tans and not at random. -- happenstance and not at random. i will talk a little bit and then i will stop talking. it can be hard for some and that burden may be unjustified. and here's where i will differ with him. and i recognize that the notion that one may have to present a certain form of government issued i.d. in this room in particular will seem unusual that that amounts to any sort of a burden. because in most of your countries that's common place. and as he mentioned, we are one of the only western democracies where this is a controversy in part because we're one of the only western democracies that has decentralized the system as we have and one of the only democracies where we put the bulk of the onus on voters
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rather than on affirmative government outage. what do i mean by that? we don't have really any universal government identification system. we don't have a national identification that is affirmatively outbound to every resident. every resident is not given an i.d. we don't have a national registry. we don't have a system where the government seeks to provide documentation to every citizen and where there are -- and we don't have a system where there's a very important benefit like a national health care system which would naturally encourage every american to seek this national i.d. in many of your countries, you have -- in some case as smaller population but also national systems where the government is
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far more actively involved in the lives of its citizens and also each eligible voter. and you have to understand the fight here by understanding that that's not the system we have. indeed, if we had such a system, you would probably see less controversy over the voter i.d. requirement issue in elections. most americans have the sort of identify caution they need in the few states that require a particular card. but in, a small percentage but a large number don't. in one recentt piece of litigation, the estimate was several hundred thousands eligible citizens in the united states did not currently possess the sort of identification that they would need in order to vote. and in america, if you don't have i.d., it can be quite
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difficult to get i.d. it's easy for me to show it. it's easy for me to renew it. but if you aren't already in the system, it can be quite difficult to get. even when the identification card is free we require underlying documentation. once again, we don't have national birth registries. we don't have national institutions like that. and so some people are born off of the government grid and in order get back on the government grid can be quite expensive, quite a bureaucratic hassell and quite difficult. some people have underlying documentation that does not
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reflect its current name either because they've gotten married or because there was an error originally. and getting the appropriate kind of identification can require a court process which is as you might expect quite cumbersome. adds a result and there have been reliable studies that show this that the rules show one of several cards fall disproportionately on those of lower socio economic status. you can look at turnout and see that the turnout hasn't fluctuated much and in some states it's gone up particularly monk racial minorities. i don't think turnout is the right measure. one easy process proves this. if we had a law that said, if you did not vote in 2012 you may not vote, period. turnout this year would not be much effected. most of the voters that come to the poll in 2014 would have voted in 2012. it's relatively uncontroversial. no impact on turnout.
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but 80 million americans would have lost the franchise. these laws are about those who have chosen to vote in the past but they are also about those that are eligible to vote and may choose to exercise that right in the future. even if turnout were the right measure, he has presented two elections with states that have had i.d. rules for quite some time, georgia and indiana. and both of those states have the unusual feature of a presidential election that was contested with a minority candidate at the top of the ticket that in some ways drove turnout far more than what you would expect. the bottom line is there's very little even if turnout were the right measure, there's very little that we can know about
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the impact of laws like this by looking at turnout, period. the right way, i contest, is to ask voters to conduct surveys. do you have the i.d. that you would need? would you face difficulty in getting the i.d. that you need? and those surveys show and repeatedly show that a small percentage by a large number of individuals don't have and would so there's a burden for some but not for many. is there a pressing need to exact that burden? the united states has a low grade problem of photo fraud. he is right that it exists. i think he exaggerates. responsible observers claim there is no voter fraud in the u.s. there. and you heard yesterday doug mentioned local elections, most of the local elections is where you're going find this low grade level of voter fraud ncluding spying votes,
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buying votes,includes postal ballots, includes fraud by officials and these are serious problems. but they are not problems that require a particular i.d. card at the poll can possibly fix. many of the instances that he mentioned earlier in missouri -- in mississippi, pardon me, in connecticut, in tennessee involves fraud but not any sort of fraud that a rule requiring i.d. at the polls could possibly fix. he did mention one case from yesterday. i saw it too. i'm not surprised that he brought it up from new mexico of an individual who went to the polls and found -- somebody else had voted in his name and that is the sort of fraud that some sort of identity verification could fix. i've looked as many examples as i could find.
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allegations since the year 000. and in those 14 years, i'm now thanks to yesterday's instance to 35 instances in 14 years. that's at the same time that 1 billion with a b ballots have been cast in america. it happens but it's very, very rare. and already many voters than indiana and georgia alone, the states that he mentioned have attempted to cast ballots and been unable to do so because they did not procure the proper i.d. in time. already more voters in those two states have been unable to cast a ballot. >> then all of the instances of this type of fraud that we know of going back 14 years. how do we resolve this problem? to hink there are many ways
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verify that someone is who they say they are while accommodating those who cannot easily procure a particular type of photo i.d. card and that's really what this fight is about, whether there are accommodations for a few or whether there are not accommodations for a few who may have trouble meeting the standard that the majority has imposed that are relatively easy for many. the outcome as policy matter i think is uncertain. the outcome is a legal matter i think is uncertain. courts are still weighing in -- each state law is slightly different and so courts are still weighing in state by state on whether these laws are lawful or not whether they are constitutional or not. and i think we will have to wait for several years yet before we arrive at a consensus. i think once we arrive at a consensus, i agree with him that we will think back and wonder what this fight was about.
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but i'm not sure the consensus is going to be on the most restrictive laws that we have currently. >> thank you, professor, for your presentation. we have two very, very good presentations that have been clearly articulating the views and their data supporting their views on it. i think they're eager to hear your take on the debate in the u.s. and see how we can learn from each other. a couple of the housekeeping issues before we embark upon that. please state your name and your affiliation when you're asked a question. we're having some of my colleagues here with microphones since this is being broadcasted life so it's being captured properly -- live so it's being captured properly. we do have head sets for translation. channel 7 english, 10 arabic, nine11 for spanish. french, andwe have about 25 minutes for
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q&a. please raise your hand if you have a question and we will ake it from there. why don't we start with the gentleman in the front here, elliott or -- > thank you very much. it's very interesting -- for us, we come from nepal. both of us. we have our own history and we have our own system and i'm slightly confused. the u.s. democracy is -- we have to learn and follow. r we have to give simplicity or we should have a system for tomorrow or what we should do.
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13 -- but you have a little rule for the voters in the polling centers so that they can add their name in the first any of the ondly, identification system, the voters having with him or her could help. and we would have part -- that the federal law is passed by the country and each state has some sort of unique identification for everything including the body, that is what we would impart and we are oing the same thing for nepal. and these are some of the reasons of mine. and i was thinking that day before yesterday somebody voted for somebody else. and what is the finality if the
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voter voted for somebody else, then do we have some sort of finality of someone as you identified voted for somebody lse. what is the finality and all that? and sometimes i get confused, particularly because i think the democracy is alternately twice and you are left free to ecide on your own. like some of them have i.d. and some of them don't have anything. [inaudible] if we take back to nepal and in e previous election in 2008, we didn't have i.d. distributed to each voter. and we had a very big bulky little room and a lot of voters might have voted for somebody else.
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so we introduced voter i.d. and biometric systems of a little rule and this time around in 2013, we had a very good turnout from 61% to 81% and each voter has been given voter identification cards. and that has made a difference because in the earlier elections some other party has got better person in the house because there was no identification system. this time around in the second elections we had good elections of course and some of the other parties got the opportunity to come and the first one in the 2008 election turned to be a hard situation, right? so i think the voter i.d. matters very much. there should be i.d. and proper systems for providing the
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opportunity to exercise the important rights of individual cities and that is what we can understand that. we want to take something from u.s. we'd like to be identified like this. and if we have the smaller states in our country, should we let them decide on their own what they would like to do, that is a democracy, or we should have one system which should be implemented without the democracy. and that's what i have a confusion and partly i would like to get something from you. thank you very much. >> maybe we can take one more question and let the panelist ask. so in the middle -- that's ine. >> and i am from the electoral council of haiti. thank you for the presentations that were very clear.
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i should like to add one question regarding the need to have the photo i.d. card. if i understand the presentation, the american system is based on trust, a system of trust. and so you say that according to research, the crime of fraud has increased. nd i'd like to quote the professor who spoke about a study that was published last week where it was demonstrated in the state of minnesota, fraud is what made the difference in the result of the election. so my question is do you not think that since you are not able to agree on the very need of having a voter i.d. card to vote. do you not think this will have
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an influence one day on presidential elections in the united states? thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> well, my first question, part of your question was about, you know, what's the punishment for what we call election crimes? as you know and this is related to the second par of your question, we have a federal system here. so we have both a federal government and state government. and under state law and under federal law election fraud is a crime. depending on what you do, it may be a felony which means that you can go to prison for more than a year. or it could be a misdemeanor which is a more minor crime. the problem isn't there aren't sufficient punishment, there are. the problem is that prosecutors don't tend to prosecute. i mean some prosecutors do.
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but election fraud is a low priority because, you know, they're faced with very serious crimes. murder, rape. armed robbery. and an election claim after an election is over doesn't seem like a very serious crime. also, i've found many prosecutors, also on the local level, they don't like these cases because they're going to make one or the other political parties mad if they pursue that. and i give you a good example of this. you know, we talked about noncitizen voting. when i was at the u.s. justice department where i worked for four years, the justice department prosecuted a number of people who are not u.s. citizen who illegally voted in elections. that's a federal crime. i don't believe this administration has prosecuted a single and i know because i was
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there. three years ago in fairfax county, virginia where i'm on the election board, we discovered almost 300 people ho are not u.s. citizens and registered to vote, and about half of them had voted in prior elections. we sent information about that to the u.s. justice department so they could prosecute. they did nothing about it. >> we have a question from the second -- the second question was a case in minnesota and when it comes to an i.d. card, could it not have a ramification in a presidential election. just for the audience. >> well, in fact, sometimes i didn't get to say which was that, in the study about noncitizen voting, the professors concluded that another race which may have
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affected the u.s. presidential race, is that in north carolina, north carolina was a state that barack obama won in 2008 by only 14,000 votes. very small number of votes. north carolina i think has about six million registered voters. he won by 14,000 votes. according to the calculations of these professors, that's well within the margin of noncitizens who may have voted in the state. and only a week ago, two weeks ago, election officials in north carolina discovered that individuals who are in the united states illegally but who have gotten an amnesty through the president's deferred action program, they found i think almost 200 of them registered to vote in the state. so that is clearly at issue. >> and if i could just respond for just one moment. actually on both questions.
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the study to which he keeps referring has been i think with a lot of justice, heavily heavily criticized. i hate to do this because it would be nice if somebody said the professor's found. everybody just agreed and to nodded their head. i'm a professor. i like that rule quite a bit. but the study has been heavily criticized for its data and methodology, and i think with ery good reason. the authors extrapolated based on five individuals on a survey that massive numbers of noncitizens were voting. for those of you who may be wondering, was it really five people, how could you do that?
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it really was, five people. those sorts of conclusions when you blow them up nationwide, look rather large. but i don't think that that's the study that actually proves what it's set out to prove. there may well be a problem and there may well be some noncitizens who are voting. the question for me is always, is the policy that stops that going to create a bigger problem than it solves? so if in an effort to stop a few hundred noncitizens from voting we stop several thousand or tens of thousands of eligible citizens from voting, that's actually doing more harm to the integrity of the election than fixing it. that is, this very same election in minnesota, yes, was ecided by a few hundred votes. but if legitimate voters had been prevented from casting
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their ballots by a law that secured the elections more broadly, that, too, would have changed the result of the election and that, too, would have been seen as widely unfair. the calculation here is no different than any other public policy, which is the benefits should exceed the costs or else it's not worth doing. and i think part of this comes down to, how restrictive are the measures to get at the scale of the problem? this comes back to the first gentleman's point. there are many alternatives to having one or two or three or four particular government issued i.d. card. and one of the alternatives aving the government affirmatively supply i.d. to the citizen. if that was the case as before, i don't think we'd have this controversy. it's much harder to do to a country the size and scale of the united states. but that's one option. a buy mo metric solution.
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if you happen to have an i.d., show that i.d. if not, we'll take your picture and you sign an extra affidavit. that, too, is a means of protecting your identity without excluding those without a particular card. there are many options besides. the fight again is not about one i.d. system or trust alone, the fight is about the range of policy options that may increase security without excluding eligible voters. i think that that's the crux of the problem. >> thank you very much. some more questions. look to see if there are some women who want to ask questions. it's been very dominated by men in the panel today. i see there's one lady in the back that's willing to participate. >> hello. >> welcome. >> from elections, canada. i believe a system should be
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built to accommodate the majority. so photo i.d., i'm not bothered by that. so a good system would have, for lack of a better term, offramps to accommodate those who don't. could you tell us the measures are to accommodate those that don't fall in the majority. and professor, if you could say why you feel they are sufficient and professor levitt, why you feel they're not? >> every state that's passed a photo i.d. law has also provided anybody that doesn't already have one can get one for free. about 's interesting that is that the huge numbers of people predicted by opponent that don't have an i.d. have proven to be completely wrong over the years. and i'll give you an example of that. i've handed out a copy of a paper that i did looking at the
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state of georgia, and in addition to showing turnout, it also shows the number of free i.d.'s issued. and the numbers every year were like .5 of 1% of the number of registered voters. a tiny number of people of registered voters don't already have an i.d. compare that to the predictions of those that opposed the law that there would be literally hundreds of thousands of people without an i.d. second, one of the reasons i don't take a lot of the claims seriously about people not having an i.d. and not being able to get an i.d. is because i've also handed out a copy of an article i wrote where i did this, i actually went and looked up the names of the witnesses that were prnted in the lawsuit filed against that voter i.d. law back eight years ago.
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these were all people who swore under oath in court that they didn't have an i.d. but most importantly they wouldn't be able to get one of the free i.d.'s because it would be just too difficult. the court upheld the law and it went in place and became effective. and what i did was i went and got the names of all these people who swore they would never be able to vote and i checked their voting records since the lawsuit. and i found all of them had been voting in election after election in the state. now, every state also provides what's called a professional ballot. so if you show up at the polling place and you don't have your i.d., many states say that they will give you, for back e, five days to come to the election office with an i.d. and your vote will count. some states have gone as far as
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to allow another offramp to another photo i.d. requirement, there are some states that will have a affidavit that you can fill out where two other voters, for example, can swear that they know you and that you are a resident of the state and then you get to vote. but my point is that these laws have been in place for many years and it just hasn't been a problem for people being able to get an i.d. >> sort of. so from indiana, from the very same state that was mentioned, there have been thousands of professional ballots cast by people who went to the polls and did not have the proper i.d. there that were not counted. many of which were cast by individuals who had been casting ballots for decades. we can't, due to secrecy laws
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in the state and every state is again different in this respect, know for sure who those people are, only the government in the state knows. but you would have to believe that none of those people were actually eligible to believe that this -- these sorts of laws have not had an impact. professional ballots are a -- l failsafe, but as mr. shavsky stated, some of the states say you must show an identification for those votes to count. it's a useful placebo on election day but for someone who doesn't have the i.d. in question, it does them no good to cast the ballot that will be thrown in the trash rather than counted. it is true that states allow you to get the i.d. card themselves for free, but the underlying documentation is not and can be burdensome.
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not every -- there are very few humans i'm aware of who emerge from the womb with papers in hand to prove their identity. and we do not have a national birth registry in this country. some people have government issued birth certificates, some do not. you often need one of those issued birth certificates to get an i'd card. in many states, you need an item -- an identification card to get the birth certificate. so people are trapped in a bureaucratic catch-22. they cannot get the documentation they need because they need documentation to get the documentation they need because you need the documentation. you can see the loop. those people don't actually show up to vote because they know they can't and aren't in the figures that are being talked about.
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there's one other jomple ramp i'm quite troubled by. many of the states that have put in place these most restrictive laws for people coming to the polls actually have quite liberal, quite permissive absentee laws. and the argument is made that we don't have to worry about the requirements to present particular identification at the polls because these individuals, normally the elderly, often have permission, again, varies state by state, to cast a postal ballot instead. that is by raising the murderens of going to the polls, the solution is to encourage the same people who cannot vote at the polls to vote in an absentee ballot who some of the very people that are being talked about have actually cast votes in elections. the problem with that is i believe there's widespread agreement, i'd be surprised if
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he thought differently. the postal system, the absentee system is where there are actually large concerns about fraud. if you're going to steel an election doing so using postal ballots is actually far more efficient or effective than doing so in person. and so the most broad offramp is actually steering a group of voters directly to the system where we have the most trouble and part of what disturbs they instead of protecting the integrity of the vote. >> can i agree with that real quick and say i certainly agree with that. there's a lot of fraud in the absentee process, postal ballots. but that's why a number of states have passed photo i.d. laws that require you to show a photo i.d. not only for in-person voting but also for absentee ballot voting. kansas has done that, alabama has done that, some other states, also. that in fact is a failing --
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those states have only require a photo i.d. for inperson voting need to extend that requirement to postal ballots. >> so with this back and forth from the panelists, i want to conclude this session and then thank them for their participation and also yours for being so active and i think we could give them a hand for a job well done. [applause] we are struggling with two different principles when it comes to the access to the ballot and integrity of the election results and think the debate will continue for some time to come so thank you very much. . [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captioning copyright national cable satellite corp.2014]
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